Saturday, August 30, 2014
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POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 11:57 AM

The atmosphere often is called an “ocean of air,” and last night and early this morning the wind certainly sounded like a storm-agitated ocean during full moon.

Gusts up to 62 m.p.h. were reported in Cape May County, and, officially, a peak wind of 46 m.p.h. was measured at Philadelphia International Airport last night.

That was the strongest gust of the winter, and the highest since Nov. 1.

POSTED: Friday, March 7, 2014, 12:07 PM

A winter-weary public might find the dueling headlines atop El Nino stories perplexing.

“Here comes El Nino; good news for US weather woes.” "Return of El Nino Could Bring Rain, Heat, Misery."

Certainly, rain, heat, misery, and even good news are likely somewhere on the planet during the next year, and they may or may not have anything to do with “El Nino,” an anomalous warming of surface waters in the tropical Pacific.

That’s if it actually does return. The government’s Climate Prediction Center has issued an “El Nino Watch,” saying the chances are 50-50 that it will sometime in the summer or fall.

POSTED: Thursday, March 6, 2014, 12:35 PM

Perhaps surprisingly, the “meteorological winter” that ended on Feb. 28 barely made the top 50 in the 140-year period of record for temperature. After two very mild winters, it probably felt colder.

But we maintain that this season – in reality, not yet  over -- remains a strong contender for the worst on record.

Ranking winters is a subjective exercise, given that the data can only suggest what people had to put up with, which is what really matters.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 4:34 PM

Temperatures over the Arctic Ocean between Norway and the North Pole were about 11 degrees above normal in February, according to the NASA satellite data released this afternoon.

Meanwhile, parts of North America, including Philadelphia, where official readings for the month were 3.6 degrees below normal, shivered.

As we’ve said, global warming is not a spectator sport, and month-to-month and inter-annual changes generally have been incremental.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 3:09 PM

As reported, with a low of 2 late Monday night, Atlantic City set a low-temperature record for the date, and for any day in March.

Less than 15 minutes earlier, Wilmington reported a low of 8, also a record for a March 3.

Both those stations have been keeping score since the 19th Century.

POSTED: Monday, March 3, 2014, 11:26 AM

To their immense disappointment, hundreds of thousands of school children are being deprived of educational-enrichment opportunities today because of the weather.

But in some cases, we should point out, because of the forecast.

Snow continues in South Jersey and Delaware, and some places there could wind up with as much as half a foot.

POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 11:03 AM

The 1.1 inches of snow measured officially at Philadelphia International Airport/National Park on Wednesday, nudged the seasonal total to 59.5 inches, within a decent pompadour of 5 feet.

That solidifies this winter’s hold on third place in the 130-year period of record keeping, giving it a decent shot at No. 2, 1995-96, at 65.5 inches.

But  it would take an unprecedented late-winter blitz to catch No. 1, 2009-10, 78.7, those wild storm rumors aside.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 11:35 AM

Once again this morning, snow showed up just in time to bedevil innocent rush-hour motorists.

As we noted in our Sunday story, measuring the severity of the winter is a subjective process, and one thing arguing in this one’s credentials is the timing of storms.

We’ve counted a total of 15 wintry “events,” in which snow and/or ice has been recorded officially at Philadelphia International Airport.

About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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